Gerroa: Bum Tree protest under way

STEADY rainfall failed to deter between 30 and 40 protesters who have set up camp along Gerroa Road protesting against the removal of trees by Shoalhaven City Council.

Members of the Gerroa Environmental Protection Society have unfurled two glider possum banners near where the clearing, includING the removal of the iconic Bum Tree, is due to begin at the intersection of Gerroa and Beach roads.

The group said the clearing of the trees for road safety, including a number of large blackbutts, some reported to be 400 years old, will have serious ramifications for the endangered greater glider that has a colony in the area.

GEPS members maintained there were alternatives to removing the trees alongside the road to improve safety, including lowering the speed limit, but claimed Shoalhaven City Council has failed to listen to community’s concerns and intends to start its planned works.

On Monday morning contractors were undertaking clearing work in bushland on the edges of the western side of the road, at the Shoalhaven Heads end of Gerroa Road.

GEPS spokesperson Jessie Holder said the group intended to protest until Shoalhaven City Council listened.

“They’re not paying attention to anyone,” she said.

“The amount of people here shows how passionate everyone is – we have been here all weekend, the support of the community and the amount of beeps we are getting from passing motorists in support has been amazing.”

She said council plans to remove 147 trees from right through the middle of the national park were completely unjustified.

“The removal of trees will not improve safety, revising the speed limit is the issue,” she said.

GEPS president Warren Holder said protesters had no plans to disrupt the work.

“We are here with our signs to get public support, and to watch and observe the work,” he said.

“And maybe even help them identify if there is an animal in there.”

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